Ski resort renamed to remove racism

AmericaA popular ski resort in California has changed its name to remove a word that has racist connotations against indigenous people.

The famous ski resort in Lake Tahoe, California, on September 13 announced to change its name from Squaw Valley to Palisades Tahoe. The word “squaw” is derived from Algonquin, meaning “woman”, but later morphed into a racist and sexist term used to disparage indigenous women.

“Over a year ago, we concluded that it was time to change the name. The reason was very clear, the old name was offensive,” the notice read. “It doesn’t represent who we are, what we stand for. We can’t continue to use it.”

Squaw Valley Ski Area in Lake Tahoe, California.  Photo: AP

Squaw Valley Ski Area in Lake Tahoe, California. Photo: AP

Indigenous peoples in California have long demanded a change to the name of the resort, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and plans to change the name announced last year.

“We have been in the land of the day for thousands of years. Olympic Valley lies in the ancestral homeland of the Washoe. The word itself is a constant reminder of the injustices against the natives, the Washoe,” said Darrel Cruz. , of the Washoe Tribal Historical Preservation Office. “It constantly reminds us of bad times. It’s a term that other people impose on us, and we don’t agree.”

While considering a name change, the resort consulted with the Washoe Tribe. The decision to change the name was discussed in August 2020, after the anti-racism protest movement in the US flourished because of the police killing of black man George Floyd. Since then, cities, schools, and parks across California have begun rethinking the names of landmarks that have been controversial because of their racist history.

Hong Hanh (Follow Guardian)


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